Condo resale prices rise for 21st straight month in April, suburban prices hit new high

Resale transactions declined by 31.3 per cent compared with April last year. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Prices of resale condominium units edged up for the 21st straight month in April, while transactions fell slightly as the market stabilised following property cooling measures.

Last month, condo resale prices rose at a slower pace of 0.7 per cent compared with March's 0.8 per cent, according to flash figures from real estate portals and SRX released on Tuesday (May 10).

Compared with April last year, prices were up by 9 per cent, data showed.

Prices for condos in the suburbs hit a new high since 1995, and were up 10.8 per cent compared with April last year, noted OrangeTee & Tie senior vice-president of research and analytics Christine Sun.

"This could be due to a surge in buyers who have turned from the primary market to the secondary market in the light of the tight supply of new homes in the suburbs," she said.

Suburban resale condo prices are expected to remain elevated as new condo supply will remain low this year, she added.

Meanwhile, resale volume fell by 2.2 per cent, with an estimated 1,368 units changing hands last month, down from 1,399 units the month before.

Resale transactions declined by 31.3 per cent compared with April last year, but were still 17.8 per cent higher than the five-year average for the month of April.

This could mean the resale market is on its road to recovery, four months after property cooling measures were introduced, property analysts said.

Last December, the additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) rates were raised from 12 per cent to 17 per cent for citizens buying their second residential property, and from 15 per cent to 25 per cent for those buying their third and subsequent ones.

The total debt servicing ratio for borrowers had been tightened from 60 per cent to 55 per cent.

Resale volume had been falling for six consecutive months starting last September, but picked up in March with the easing of safe management measures, which facilitated more property viewings.

Ms Sun said: "Despite volumes dipping slightly, the total resale volume still hovered above 1,300 units in April, which is significantly more than the number of transactions inked in January and February."

However, Huttons Asia chief executive Mark Yip said that the recent rule change that transfers of residential properties into a living trust will be subject to an ABSD of 35 per cent has created some uncertainty.

"Buyers may evaluate which is the more tax-efficient way to buy a property for their child," Mr Yip said.

Before Monday, ABSD did not apply when there was no identifiable beneficial owner when the property was transferred.

ERA Singapore head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said that resale condo prices could be pushed up by new launches in the coming months.

"Some of the new residential projects to be launched in the coming months are expected to be launched at new record prices in their respective neighbourhoods," he said.

Mr Mak expects prices to rise by 2 per cent to 5 per cent over the rest of the year.

The highest transacted price for a resale condo last month was $10.25 million for a unit at The Orchard Residences. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Last month, condos in the suburbs accounted for 56.3 per cent of the total sales volume. Homes in the city fringes accounted for 27.8 per cent, while the remaining 15.9 per cent were in core central Singapore.

The highest transacted price for a resale condo last month was $10.25 million for a unit at The Orchard Residences, a 99-year leasehold condo in the Orchard Road area.

In the city fringes, the highest transacted price was $9.5 million for a 99-year leasehold unit at Silversea in Marine Parade.

In the suburban areas, a unit at freehold The Parc Condominium in the West Coast area sold for $3.3 million.

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